Thursday, 11 March 2010

What 10 000 hours of practise have taught me

Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, suggests that we acquire unique expertise through 10 000 of practise. So I was thinking about the 10 000 hours I have spent as Londonmom and what unique expertise I have from that.
But before I tell you mine, I want to hear about yours.  What do you know that you’ve learned through practise? What do you know that you almost take for granted that other people might find amazingly useful?
Ok, now I will tell you one of mine. I know how to get rid of lice. It doesn’t exactly fit into the focus of this blog, but I can bend the rules a bit, after all you can’t live well with nits in your hair.
This is the secret:
At night, before bedtime, take a huge tub of Queen Helene conditioning cream.
Slather it over your child’s scalp, row by row onto the scalp. (You need to use loads)
Wrap child’s head in Clingfilm. Put a bath cap over that.  Put child to bed.
In the morning, rinse the child’s hair and comb.
Repeat process within eight days to catch the little hatchlings.

In my 10 000 hours, I have learned less disgusting things too, but more of that another day.
To conclude on a nice note, I will give you the best stew recipe I know:
Lamb Tagine
One tablespoon oil
600 gm pack of lamb shoulder chops (at least two per person)
Three stalks celery sliced
Three carrots sliced
One onion sliced
One tin of Canelli beans
One tablespoon Ras El Hanout spice mix
One tablespoon tomato puree
One tablespoon honey
100 apricots halved
Fry lamb in oil till brown both sides
Put lamb in oven dish. Fry veggies. Put in oven dish. Add 500ml cold water, tomato puree and seasonings and put in medium oven for about one and a half hours.
Add honey and apricots and continue cooking for another 30 minutes. Serve with rice.


  1. I can vouch for this method. It is the only one that works. ( I mean creepy crawlies, not little lambs.)

  2. Luckily I haven't had to experience lice yet. I've learned through my yoga practice that sometimes in life it's really worth it to slow down. So often we think we should keep pushing ourselves from every direction...but where will this get us? If we slow down and really enjoy just the present moment, this is how we'll find true happiness!

  3. exactly FFF, so important to live s l o w l y without rushing to next thing.

  4. So Malcolm says it takes five years of practicing something as a full time job and you'll get unique expertise. The only single things I think I have practiced for 10,000 hours (besides my day job) would be exercise and travel. Hmmm . . . do I have special expertise in these areas? I AM really good at packing a suitcase.

  5. W, how about music? Don't you have unique expertise as a music lover?

  6. I suppose so. I definitely listen to more than my share of music . . . perhaps I could become a professional music identifier?

  7. I've been chatting to doctors about what they've learned in 10 000 hours and they have all said they have learned to trust their inner voice about what patients to get alarmed about.